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NCH Can Help

Do you or your child have difficulty sleeping? The NCH Sleep Center provides comprehensive sleep studies, testing and treatment for adults and children age 2 or older. Call 847.618.3190 or click here for more information.

Sleep Tight!

Use these tips to get the kids back on track

Summer for many children and teens means staying up late and sleeping until noon. Returning to a normal sleep schedule once school is back in session is crucial to good health—and school performance. But getting there isn't always so simple.

School-age children are sleeping about 1.5 hours less than the recommended 10 to 11 hours on school nights, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Although teens need less sleep—8.5 to 9.25 hours—than young children, they also may not be getting enough shut-eye, given their nonstop lifestyles and late-night media distractions.

To help kids start the school year with the right amount of sleep, the NSF offers these tips:

  • Keep a regular schedule. Maintaining a regular bedtime makes it easier for kids to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. Soon, the body's internal clock will regulate to the set times.
  • Create a cozy environment. Your child's bedroom should be comfy, dark, cool and quiet.
  • Limit soda. The average can of soda is brimming not only with caffeine but also sugar. Cutting back will help keep kids from being too wired to wind down.
  • Tone it down. Kids should stop all stimulating activities a few hours before bedtime. That means putting away the laptop, smartphone or hand-held gaming device. Above all, turn off that TV if there's one in the room.
  • Be a role model. Practice what you preach and be sure to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night yourself.

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Last Updated 04/10/2009